Last year around this time I was interested in someone…We didn’t know one another very well but had gotten coffee once to chat. Nothing too serious, no proclaiments of love or the brushing of hands over the table. Over the coming months, as I began dating someone else, I would bump into him on occasion…Nashville isn’t all that big y’all. Occasionally I would laugh at the little crush I had developed on him briefly last year, and how even in your 30s you can still get crushes.
I ran into him, after really not seeing him for about seven months, at the church I am now attending. One would have thought it would be awkward, seeing someone I had once (just a year before) been interested in. Eventhough I am single, and I believe he is too, there wasn’t awkwardness. There was friendliness that was not forced or disingenuous. It was a friendly catch up with someone I hadn’t seen in months.
It got me to thinking about how awkward it becomes when you develop this expectation with a person you have a romantic interest in that never comes to fruition. I see it play out, and have had it happen to me before, especially within the church, where the awkwardness drives the interactions, conversations, and often the individuals. It consumes their time and thoughts, and often detracts from their worship. It can mar relationships far beyond just the one there was an interest in and even push some to leave the church. Sadly over the years in ministry, and specifically being involved in singles ministries, it becomes cyclical.
Acknowledge the awkward, but don’t let it rule you. After all, you were made to be so much more than a person carrying around unmet expectations. When you love God, it becomes just a smidge easier to love others, even in the awkward, even in the strained. Don’t let an unrequited crush push you out of worshiping the God who loves you more than _________. Lay aside the expectations of finding your mate in ministry. The only expectation we should carry into church is the expectation of the presence of God with us.